UNFPA provides Iran with ambulances to improve services to refugees

January 28, 2023 - 18:44

TEHRAN - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated eight ambulances to Iran with the aim of helping the country improve health services to refugees.

Deputy Health Minister Mohammad-Hossein Nicknam said the ambulances will be delivered to eight universities of medical sciences in the cities of Zabul, Isfahan, Kerman, Zahedan, Mashhad, Iranshahr, Rafsanjan, and Tehran.

Countries in different situations should help for improving each other's health services, especially when those countries face additional issues and problems, he added, IRNA reported.

“We have been hosting millions of Afghan brothers and sisters in our country for many years, and it is a great pleasure that we can be a source of help to our fellow countrymen.”

Iran recently donated 200,000 doses of Barkat vaccines for Covid-19 to Nicaragua and a number of vaccines to Iraq, and this is in a situation where Iran is under the most severe sanctions, Nicknam highlighted.

But the country still fulfills its human duty, he said, adding, “our help to Afghan refugees is also in the same direction.”

“Today, Western countries, which proclaim humanitarianism, mistreat helpless refugees and put them under a lot of pressure. But millions of Afghan citizens have been living in our country for years. Even in the era of Covid-19 and in other conditions, we did not and do not consider any difference between Iranians and Afghan citizens.”

“Of course, helping them is one of our human duties,” he concluded.

International support

For over four decades, Iran has been hosting one of the largest and most protracted refugee situations in the world and has provided asylum to refugees, mostly from Afghanistan.

The recent fast-paced turn of events in Afghanistan has the potential to create additional population movements; internally displacing families and potentially driving them to neighboring countries to seek refuge.

Iran is home to over 800,000 registered refugees and some 2.6 million undocumented Afghans. Today, more than 500,000 Afghan children- including undocumented Afghans and those who have newly arrived in Iran following the Taliban-takeover-are benefitting from Iran’s inclusive education policies, one of the most progressive in the world.

On January 23, the Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, urged the United Nations to help Iran provide better support for Afghan refugees.

He called for the UN to benefit from all of Iran's capacities to help the people of Afghanistan and increase regional cooperation in solving the economic, social, and educational problems of Afghan people and refugees.

He made the remarks in a meeting at the place of the embassy in Kabul with Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, the special representative for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

UNHCR’s Officer in Charge, Inna Gladkova, said in November 2022 that despite the sanctions and economic pressures, Iran continues its comprehensive policy of providing services to refugees, and this is appreciable.

The best solution and the most stable support system for refugees is that have access to schools and education just like Iranian nationals, she stated, IRNA reported.

Iran has taken effective and continuous measures to include all refugees, and the UNHCR also declares its readiness to fulfill its obligations, she noted.

In the provision of educational services, there are different aspects, she said, adding, school construction, equipping schools, providing teachers and human resources, and providing quality educational services are the main and important work done by the Ministry of Education.


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